League

Dreams climb up to third in league after beating Eastern

Photo: Eastern

After the league match between Eastern and Dreams had to be postponed due to a typhoon earlier in the season, both sides agreed to reschedule the game for December 28th, offering a rare Thursday night kick-off between Christmas and New Year. Nacho Martinez’ only goal earned Dreams three points in front of 1,073 fans at Mong Kok Stadium. Japanese centre-back Yusuke Igawa of J-League champions Kawasaki Frontale was also in attendance, sitting next to Eastern director Peter Leung and fueling speculations that he might replace South Korean defender Jo Tae-keun. 

Both sides started slowly into the game and did not have many chances. Eastern came close with Vitor Saba’s freekick that found an unmarked Jaimes McKee, but his header went over the bar. The deadlock was broken in the 42nd minute when Cheng Chin-lung provided a well-placed through ball into the box to Nacho Martinez, who neatly slotted it into the bottom far corner of the net.

Early in the second half, Szeto Man-chun made a double substiution, introducing both Michel Lugo and Ju Yingzhi, and with them the Blues started to gain more possession in the midfield. And it was also Lugo who came closest to an equalizer when he saw his header skimming off the post in the 67th minute. Eastern’s lack of creativity was not enough to break down Dreams’ well organized defense. The guests even almost doubled their lead in the dying minutes, when Nacho Martinez won the ball deep in Eastern’s half and made space for Harima Hirokane, who only had the goalkeeper to beat, but his shot went straight to 40-year-old Ho Kwok-chuen, who replaced the suspended Yapp Hung-fai in the Eastern goal that day.

The victory for Dreams means that they finish the year 2017 on third place, one point above Tai Po, while Eastern stuck on fifth.

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